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Mike,

A comment regarding your comment about Psalm 58. Well, really not my comment but one from a commentary written by Albert Barnes and referrer to Jesus’ words in Matthew 7:1

>> Psalm 58 verse 11 stood out to me today - ""There truly is a reward for those who live for God; surely there is a God who judges justly here on earth."" I think this is wise for us to remember that God indeed judges. We don't. We shouldn't. But God indeed judges justly.>>

Mat 7:1 -
Judge not ... - This command refers to rash, censorious, and unjust judgment. See Rom_2:1. Luke Luk_6:37 explains it in the sense of “condemning.” Christ does not condemn judging as a magistrate, for that, when according to justice, is lawful and necessary. Nor does he condemn our “forming an opinion” of the conduct of others, for it is impossible “not” to form an opinion of conduct that we know to be evil. But what he refers to is a habit of forming a judgment hastily, harshly, and without an allowance for every palliating circumstance, and a habit of “expressing” such an opinion harshly and unnecessarily when formed. It rather refers to private judgment than “judicial,” and perhaps primarily to the customs of the scribes and Pharisees.
Albert Barnes' Notes on the Bible; Albert Barnes (1798-1870)

I thought about writing this from my own thoughts but Albert Barnes said it best.
Grace and Peace,
Ramona

Martin Luther is a giant of faith. He and his faith are still alive in the Presence of Jesus. Note some of his commentary on Galatians:

GALATIANS 1

VERSE 1.
O foolish Galatians.

Paul reproves the Galatians rather sharply when he calls them "fools, bewitched, and disobedient."
Grace does not suddenly transform a Christian into a new and perfect creature. Dregs of the old and natural corruption remain. The Spirit of God cannot at once overcome human deficiency. Sanctification takes time.

VERSE 1.
Who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth?

Since the devil has this uncanny ability to make us believe a lie until we would swear a thousand times it were the truth, we must not be proud, but walk in fear and humility, and call upon the Lord Jesus to save us from temptation.

Although I am a doctor of divinity, and have preached Christ and fought His battles for a long time, I know from personal experience how difficult it is to hold fast to the truth. I cannot always shake off Satan. I cannot always apprehend Christ as the Scriptures portray Him. Sometimes the devil distorts Christ to my vision. But thanks be to God, who keeps us in His Word, in faith, and in prayer.

VERSE 2.
This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

We must learn that forgiveness of sins, Christ, and the Holy Ghost, are freely granted unto us at the preaching of faith, in spite of our sinfulness. We are not to waste time thinking how unworthy we are of the blessings of God. We are to know that it pleased God freely to give us His unspeakable gifts. If He offers His gifts free of charge, why not take them? Why worry about our lack of worthiness? Why not accept gifts with joy and thanksgiving?

GALATIANS 5

VERSE 6.
For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.

The question occurs to us, What difference is there between faith and hope? We find it difficult to see any difference. Faith and hope are so closely linked that they cannot be separated. Still there is a difference between them.
First, hope and faith differ in regard to their sources. Faith originates in the understanding, while hope rises in the will.

Secondly, they differ in regard to their functions. Faith says what is to be done. Faith teaches, describes, directs. Hope exhorts the mind to be strong and courageous.

Thirdly, they differ in regard to their objectives. Faith concentrates on the truth. Hope looks to the goodness of God.

Fourthly, they differ in sequence. Faith is the beginning of life before tribulation. (Hebrews 11.) Hope comes later and is born of tribulation. (Romans 5.)

Fifthly, they differ in regard to their effects. Faith is a judge. It judges errors. Hope is a soldier. It fights against tribulations, the Cross, despondency, despair, and waits for better things to come in the midst of evil.

VERSE 6.
For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but faith which worketh by love.

To think, "If faith justifies without works, let us work nothing," is to despise the grace of God. Idle faith is not justifying faith. In this terse manner Paul presents the whole life of a Christian. Inwardly it consists in faith towards God, outwardly in love towards our fellow-men.

VERSE 7.
Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?

The words, "Ye did run well," are encouraging indeed. Often our lives seem to creep rather than to run. But if we abide in the true doctrine and walk in the spirit, we have nothing to worry about. God judges our lives differently. What may seem to us a life slow in Christian development may seem to God a life of rapid progression in grace.

Vance

Isaiah 15:1-18:7
And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.
(Exodus 33:19 KJV)

For the past two days the above verse has been in my head as I read through the day’s readings. God chose Israel out of all the nations. In fact Israel was not Israel until after Abraham and Isaac. It was Jacob, the son and grandson of Abe and Isaac, who God chose to change his name from Jacob, supplanter, to Israel, “he will rule as God.”

Mercy is freely given, but Mercy must be paired with Truth. (Psalm 85:10) Reading the Prophets, as well as Israel’s history we can be tempted to think of God as being mean and vengeful in the Old Testament and loving and merciful in the New; but the scripture says that God doesn’t change, He is the same yesterday, today and forever. (Mal. 3:6; Heb 13:8). Mercy is unmerited favor, it isn’t’ earned and we cannot buy it. Mercy is freely given. So if Mercy is freely given and is unearned, then no one deserves mercy and it can’t be demanded because then it is not given freely. It is a mystery to us, but not to God, why God chooses to show His grace, favor and mercy on some and not to others

I know that I have experienced and been the recipient of God’s Mercy and I thank God that He chose me, little sinful me, and called me by name.

Galatians 1:1-24

I have an e-mail signature that says, “Change is not change until it’s changed.” Paul also is a man of change and uses changed lives, specifically his changed life, to validate that he is indeed an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ. Although trained under the great Gamaliel (Acts 22:3) to be an outstanding Pharisee, Paul does not use his “seminary” training to validate who he is and the authority he has to preach the gospel, but he uses his changed life and the changed lives of those he has ministered to.

Do others see a change in my life? Have I allowed the mercy that God showed toward me effect such a change in my life that others see Jesus in me. Am I a living epistle revealing the mercy and truth of Jesus Christ? Can I sing truthfully, “Jesus on the inside working on the outside, O, what a change in my life!”

Psalm 58:1-11

Justice--do you rulers know the meaning of the word?
Do you judge the people fairly?


This Psalm begins with an introduction, “For the choir director: A psalm of David, to be sung to the tune Do Not Destroy!” Hmmm, if this song was song in the temple, which it probably was, then those who sang it or heard it sung would include the rulers over Israel—priests, scribes, the Levites, and in Jesus’ day, Pharisees and Sadducees.

My pastor and many others will say at least once in his message, “Turn to your neighbor and say …” He does this, he says, because we become committed to and accountable for the words we speak out of our mouths. Using that same concept or truth the leaders and rulers over Israel were passing judgment on themselves every time they sang this song if they were not ruling the people with justice. Jesus said,

For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned."
(Matthew 12:37 NET.)

Proverbs 23:12

It takes hard work to gain knowledge. In truth we really don’t want to work for it we would rather someone just open our brains and poor the information in. But in God’s economy of scale we must work to get the key to knowledge. Ask, seek and knock.

Grace and peace,
Ramona

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